Campus Point Coffee Brings Quality Drinks to Isla Vista

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Photo by Graeme Jackson

Nicole Luu
Contributing Writer

Campus Point Coffee recently opened on 6560 Pardall Rd. in place of Coffee Collaborative. Moderately priced and well-decorated, the new shop has become a desirable spot for food and drinks among students and members of the Isla Vista community.

The smell of coffee welcomed me into the shop, beckoning me toward the espresso bar. With its light-washed wood tabletops and white chairs, the shop embodied Isla Vista’s beachy vibe. Adorned on the far wall was a mural of the IV coastline to complete the minimalist decor. The furniture seemed to only contribute to the stylistic element of the store, since, to be honest, the indoor seating was limited and uncomfortable. 

The seating options outdoors were just as uncomfortable, but allowed customers to enjoy the nice weather. On the other hand, the free public WiFi made up for the furniture. Although there was no music playing, a gentle choir of joyous conversation filled the room. The employees were friendly and quick to answer my questions as well as recommend menu items. 

The menu showcased a variety of standard drinks like lattes, espressos, and cold brews, as well as a surprisingly large selection of specialized drinks. Per the barista’s recommendation, I ordered a nitro cold brew with vanilla syrup and soy milk, a blended Thai tea with their homemade whipped cream, a Del Mar, a glazed donut twist, and a coffee donut. 

I’m not a fan of strong and bitter coffee, so their homemade nitro cold brew satisfied my need for a smooth yet light coffee. For those looking for variety, their cold brew is highly customizable with several options for different syrups and milks. Unlike regular Thai tea, Campus Point Coffee’s blended Thai tea was not too strong or overpowering. Their homemade whipped cream topped off the drink, with a smooth and creamy texture and hints of vanilla. 

My favorite item was the Del Mar, a blended drink made with chocolate, almonds, and milk. Similar to a milkshake, I loved the Del Mar for its chocolatey and nutty notes, as well as the bits of texture from the almonds. It also featured Campus Point Coffee’s homemade whipped cream, which complimented the already outstanding drink. 

The two donuts, however, were a bit of a let-down. Their pastry box was disappointingly empty, and aside from other pre-packaged snacks, donuts were the only food items in sight. Instead of a flaky coating, the glazed donut was covered in what was more like a frosting than a glaze. The cake inside did not bounce back like a normal yeast donut is supposed to, which gave me the impression that the pastries were not as fresh as I had thought. From a flavor standpoint, the donut was satisfactory and not too sweet. 

Although the coffee donut had more qualities of a standard yeast donut, it lacked flavor. The barista advertised it as a coffee donut when it tasted more like basic cinnamon sugar. It was coated in a standard glaze and topped with a crumble. Even so, biting into the donut, I was able to identify the layers and air pockets within the dough, which were reflected in its light and airy texture. 

Campus Point Coffee is a perfect fit for the Isla Vista community, with its friendly and laid-back atmosphere. It has become a study place away from campus as well as a go-to social spot where on select days of the week, the shop even hosts social events like open mics and a pop-up thrift store. 

In comparison to other coffee shops, Campus Point Coffee might be a more expensive option, but worth the quality. For those willing to splurge a little for top-tier coffee and drinks, this new beach-side coffee shop is the place for you. 

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